Toshiba has shown off a new technology that allows it to remove previously printed words from the paper - making efficient recycling possible.
While not ready for commercial availability as of yet, the technology works by applying heat to the ink - causing it to become transparent. The words and images are still technically there, you just can't see them.
Expert Reviews has it that this type of recycling could allow for the same sheet to be used up to five times, making for a much more efficient usage of paper than most offices currently employ. Apparently Toshiba is also trialling a technology that will allow for the scanning of a document before it is erased, meaning a digital copy will be preserved should it need to be referred to after deletion.
There are a couple of problems with this new system at the moment though. One is that the ink is only available with a blue tint to it, though of course the Japanese electronics maker is working on alternative hues. The other is that after being erased, the original content is still lightly visible due to a raised outline. This would make it unsuitable for use with important documents or anything of a confidential nature.
A commercial debut of the technology is expected sometime in the future, but there are no concrete details as of yet.